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Cleveland's baseball team will be looking for a new nickname. Here are 10 suggestions.

Chris Bumbaca
USA TODAY

The Major League Baseball team that calls Cleveland home won't be the "Indians" much longer. On Sunday, the New York Times reported the team would drop its controversial nickname, likely after the 2021 season. 

That means Cleveland is headed for a rebrand, not unlike the trajectory the "Washington Football Team" — which dropped its "Redskins" nickname over the summer — is currently navigating, although the timetable of any Cleveland changes remains unclear. 

If the organization opts for a placeholder moniker, it should pursue any and all "Cleveland Baseball Club" trademarks.

NEW NAME:Cleveland dropping racist nickname part of continuing social change in sports

Here are some more nickname suggestions for Cleveland as it enters a new chapter in its long history. 

Cleveland Spiders

Judging by the initial social media reaction and using common sense, the Spiders have quickly emerged as a favorite. Founded in 1887, the Forest Citys were the third professional team based in Cleveland. They became the Cleveland Spiders in 1889 and stayed in Cleveland for 10 years. 

Cleveland designated hitter Franmil Reyes (32) congratulates third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) for a grand slam.

The Spiders' 1899 season is among the most infamous campaigns in baseball history. With their owners moving the team's best players to the St. Louis Browns, their new investment, the Spiders went 20-134. 

Now is an ideal time to give the Spiders nickname an opportunity for redemption. 

Cleveland Naps

Imagine being so good and beloved they name the team after you? Meet Napoleon "Larry" Lajoie, who landed with Cleveland in 1902 when they were known as the Bronchos. But starting the next year, they became known as the Napoleons — shortened to "Naps" — in honor of their star player who served as player-manager from 1905-1909.

Lajoie left (as a player) in 1914, prompting the name change to "Indians" the following season. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1937 as a player.

Cleveland Rocks/Rockers

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is located in downtown Cleveland. It wouldn't be the first time a professional sports team has leaned into a town's musical identity for a nickname. 

Cleveland Guardians

The Hope Memorial Bridge, which hovers over the Cuyahoga River and sits just outside Progressive Field, is known for its gigantic "Guardians of Traffic" statues that are said to be protectors of transportation. Their significance to the city and surrounding area is understood and fans have rallied around the potential name in recent months.

Cleveland Buckeyes

Don't misconstrue this suggestion as an olive branch to the Ohio State fans who also root for the Cleveland baseball team. Of the Negro American League, the Cleveland Buckeyes (1943-1948) started out as the Cleveland-Cincinnati Buckeyes in 1942 before moving to Cleveland. They played the 1949 season in Louisville, Kentucky, and returned to Cleveland in 1950, the team's final year. 

Cleveland Great Lakes/Lakers

Not much of an explanation required here: the city sits on Lake Erie. Also, LeBron James is a Los Angeles Laker now, so it could be seen as a sign of reverence toward the locale's native son, even if he's "just a kid from Akron."  

Cleveland Municipals

Cleveland Stadium, also known as Municipal Stadium, was the team's home ballpark on the lakefront until Jacobs Field opened in 1994. (It was renamed Progressive Field in 2008.) The NFL's Browns also played there until 1995. 

A Cleveland Plain-Dealer letter to the editor by fan Will Weible argues that naming the team the Municipals, or the "Munis" for short, would pay homage to the city's past, present and future because "something that is municipal belongs to the community as a whole." 

And isn't that the point of sports? 

Cleveland Wild Things

Off the beaten path and a longshot for sure, the "Wild Things" is a reference to the cult classic baseball movie "Major League." Ex-convict and wild fireball Rick "The Wild Thing" Vaughn, played by Charlie Sheen, was a central figure of the fictional Cleveland team, which banded together to win despite the best efforts of a spiteful owner. 

Cleveland Blues 

In music, there is an evolutionary link between "the blues" and "rock and roll," so if the desire to pursue a rock music theme doesn't end up with a "Rockers" nickname perhaps decision-makers could land here. There is precedent for a "Blues" name in professional American sports: the St. Louis NHL squad. 

Adding a historical aspect, the Cleveland Blues were a National League team from 1879-1884. 

Cleveland Baseball Club

If Cleveland opts to make the temporary permanent, maybe we'll see "CBC" in box scores going forward. "Club" over "Team" adds an air of sophistication, while staying rooted in the game's tradition of referring to teams as "ballclubs." 

Contributing: Casey Moore, USA TODAY 

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.